A love that endures beyond death itself…
Ethan Kemp is a healer, not an assassin. But he's found an unexpected home in the Irish stronghold that houses the Assassin's Arcanum—men who will kill to protect their Druid brethren. Too bad there's a ghost that won't give him peace…
Centuries in the grave, Isibéal Cannavan has longed to be reunited with her beloved. Finally, he's returned to her. She'd recognize Lachlan anywhere, even as an American warlock called Ethan. But her path to reuniting with him in the land of the living runs through hell itself, and she'll have to take Ethan with her…
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Kelli Ireland spent more than a decade as a name on a door in corporate America. Unexpectedly liberated by Fate's sense of humor, she chose to carpe the diem and pursue her passion for writing. Ever a fan of happily-ever-afters, she discovered she loved being the Puppet Master for the most unlikely couples. Seeing them through the best and worst of each other while helping them survive the joys and disasters of falling in love? Best. Thing. Ever.
You can find out more about Kelli by visiting her website at www.kelliireland.com.
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He shoved through the door to his rooms and crossed straight to the small bookcase with the bar on one end. With the tip of his dagger, he performed an impromptu game of eenie-meenie-miney-mo. The blade landed on an unopened bottle of Midleton Very Rare. Ethan grinned without humor and pulled the bottle off the shelf. No glass needed.
“Waste of fine whiskey.”
The deep voice nearly drove Ethan out of his skin. His knife clattered to the floor, and he fumbled the ex- pensive whiskey. Sunlight flashed through the bottle’s rich amber content as the decanter went end over end, its impact with the stone floor forecast in horrid slow motion. Ethan lunged for the bottle. His knees scraped the uneven floor, the burn advertising that he’d taken the first layer of skin off. But by the gods’ grace, he snatched the bottle out of the air before permanent damage—the kind that involved curses and broken glass and bandied accusations—occurred.
Rounding on the intruder and light-headed with a wild cocktail of anger, adrenaline and something too close to fear for comfort, Ethan gestured with the neck of the bottle. “Stop sneaking up on me!”
Rowan shrugged and, with his heel, shoved the door to the suite closed before zeroing in on the bookshelf. He plucked the Very Rare from Ethan’s hands as he passed. “I realize you’re not Irish and, therefore, are arguably ignorant, so I’ll tell you once. You don’t get fluthered on Midleton’s. It’s too fine a drink for that. Choose a bottle of Jameson’s, Blended.”
Rowan placed the Very Rare on the shelf from whence it came and selected a nearly new bottle of Jameson’s Blended, handing it to Ethan without pomp or flourish. “Why?” He blinked once. Twice. “Easy. Midleton’s is a rare whiskey made for sipping, not drinking. It’s a whis- key for celebration, not obliteration. And while Jameson’s is also an admittedly fine whiskey, it’s half the cost. Your guilt won’t be so pricked when you’re puking it, and your toenails, up come sunrise.”
Ethan blinked at Rowan. “That was a speech.” The muscular man rolled first his shoulders and then his head, rocking the latter back and forth until he paused to stretch and his vertebrae made a popping sound. “Made my point, didn’t I?”
“Sure, but it seems there were extra words in there. Some might even say they were compassionate words.” Rowan shot Ethan a bland look before plucking a glass off the shelf. “Shut up and pour.” “You too good to drink from the bottle?” The larger man didn’t respond, simply held out the highball glass. When Ethan didn’t move fast enough, Rowan snatched the bottle and poured a solid two fin- gers of whiskey. Neck corded and hands trembling, he passed the glass to Ethan, picked up a second glass and poured again.
Ethan swirled his drink, staring at the play of light against fine crystal. “I’m not sure what to think, seeing as the ghost got to you. You. She must have been terrify- ing, horrid even. Dude, I bet that was it. She’s a hag, isn’t she? Proof she’s not my wife. I mean, looks aren’t every- thing, but when you take your marriage vows? That’s it. You’re waking up to that mug for the rest of your life.”
Rowan lifted his chin and locked his stare with Ethan’s. “Did you just call me ‘dude’?”
“Maybe?” He shrugged. “Okay, fine. Yes. But it was my second choice. First would have been Special Agent Supernatural—SAS for short—because of all the freaky shit that goes on around here. ‘Dude’ slipped off the tongue easier.” Sure, Ethan could have been a little more couth, but it would have been wasted effort. Besides, he wasn’t in the right frame of mind to worry about offend- ing the centuries-old Druid. Let Rowan turn him into a toad. With any luck, Ethan could counter-curse the other man on the way down. Gulping down the contents of the proffered glass, Ethan took the last swallow and gasped as powerful fumes rushed out his nose, cauterizing the tender skin. “I’d turn you into a gnat.”
Rowan’s eyebrows drew together for a split second. “A gnat?”
“Well, you’re turning me into a frog.”
“I am?” Rowan shook his head and tossed back the two fingers he’d poured. “I haven’t had enough to drink for you to make sense.”
“I always make sense,” Ethan countered. “Some- times.”
Rowan grunted as he poured himself a second shot.
“So, let me be blunt.” Ethan set his glass down, com- mandeered the bottle and took a long draw, his breath exploding from his lungs as if he were a mythical fire- breathing creature. He wondered that the room hadn’t been incinerated. Voice raw, he managed to wheeze, “Why are you here?”
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